Through its mission, Institute of Public Policy aims to support a more open Portugal, in two ways: working for better, more open and transparent public governance; and, on the other hand, making the debate more open to the world, promoting individual freedom and social justice.
The European attitudes project, with the support of the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD), is based on the elements shared by the values and mission of both FLAD and Institute of Public Policy, and incorporated two distinct vectors.
Lessons from the USA for European economic integration
Despite significant differences, the American experience is the richest source of historical inspiration for the process of European integration, regardless of whether its ultimate destination is a federal Europe or not. This vector intended to disseminate in the Portuguese public sphere knowledge to be drawn from the American lessons for European economic integration, that can inform this important debate both at the national level and for Portugal’s intervention in European fora.
The starting point was the essay by Jeffry Frieden, “Lessons for the euro from early US monetary and financial history”, published originally in the Bruegel Essay and Lecture Series, whose Portuguese version the Institute of Public Policy makes available here, exclusively. The essay was also discussed in Lisbon, at FLAD, at the American Lessons for the Euro seminar, with the participation of the author himself.
Euroscepticism and the economy: what binds Europe’s crises?
These days, it is generally understood that political integration has lagged behind economic integration in Europe, thus diminishing the possible benefits of the latter. This situation has in turn reduced public enthusiasm and support for the European project and weakened the possibility of deepening political integration. The rise of different, but similar in its anti-European stance, populism is seen as a symptom of such problems.
While Portugal has not seen such a surge in populism, public support for European integration, usually among the strongest in the EU, has fallen. Pro-Europe parties still enjoy a constitutional majority, but its base has never been narrower. Europe has been largely absent from the public debate, except in fiscal matters. The temptation for political actors to nationalize good news and blame “Brussels” for bad news has become more and more enticing.
This vector of the project sought to contribute to the debate, at both national and international level, on euroscepticism, its causes and consequences, by holding an international seminar, Europe at a Crossroads: European challenges for national politics at the Institute of Social Sciences in October 2018. The interventions of five of the speakers will be published as policy briefs.